Issue: Defend the Guard

Libertarian Party of California Program Plank

Each state maintains a reserve military force of part-time Soldiers and Airmen to
serve during emergencies such as natural disasters and riots. Known as the
National Guard, these troops are also used to augment the active duty military
when the nation is at war.

Though not having declared war since 1942, the US military has become
increasingly engaged in overseas combat operations without clear goals or
definitions of success, resulting in several prolonged operations that have cost
millions of lives and trillions of dollars.

Since the attacks on New York City, the Pentagon and Flight 93 in 2001, Congress
has authorized several unaccountable military operations absent a formal
declaration of war that have resulted in the deployment of state National Guard
troops to augment combat operations. Many Guardsmen have served on several
deployments in short time spans that have disrupted their families, careers, and
lives beyond the reasonable burden of part-time service in conflicts that have
objectively produced more risk than benefit to American interests.

By using National Guard forces outside of a formally declared war, Congress is
enabling the Executive Branch to engage in prolonged, unsustainable imperial wars
that are destabilizing entire geographic regions around the world and further
endangering American lives.

The Libertarian Party of California supports:

  • Calling on state lawmakers to pass legislation barring the deployment of
    state National Guard in support of combat operations overseas absent a
    formal declaration of war from the United States Congress.
  • Calling on California’s elected Congress and state representatives, as well as
    the Governor, to insist that the National Guard troops cannot be deployed
    without a formal declaration of war or proper use of the War Powers
    Resolution of 1973.


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May not represent official positions of the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County unless so indicated.